Friday, August 12, 2011

Burning calories

The tone of my last post may have led my readers to expect less of a hiatus between posts. A few things have kept me away from my boat. The most interesting was a trip to Malaysia - a wonderful place. I must admit that my primary reason for travelling there was the food - and I was not disappointed - but I loved the atmosphere, people and diversity. Undoubtedly food was my primary pleasure in Malaysia. Which leads me back to paddling. On my return, apart from my continuing enthusiasm for paddling the briny, I felt I needed to burn some calories. So I joined the West Coasters for the usual Sunday paddle from Torquay with Tina, John, Russell, Roger D, Dave and Tony.

After some dire predictions early in the week, the weather turned out perfectly. We found ourselves in the centre of a low pressure system, meaning very little wind. There was not too much swell - but some larger sets amongst them.

It was a nice opportunity to drop my grip from the paddle and get some photos of the cliffs we paddle along near Torquay.  Including a view of some enviably situated dwellings.

The surfing spots we passed on our way to Red Rock seemed a little quiet.
But there was enough swell to get the reefs working.

The weather gave me an opportunity to get a little closer to shore.

Yet by the time we had to land, it seemed (at least to me) that were some sizeable sets coming through. The beach at Red Rock appeared a little steeper than normal, and it was a little hard to judge the waves because they formed so close to the beach. But I let one wave pass under me close to shore and paddled in hard a little behind it, all working to plan.

Launching after lunch, things did not go so smoothly. I launched next to Tina and tried to get off the sand at the same time. Unfortunately, I was a little slow and watched a steep one form in front of me as I paddled hard to get over it. I was a little slow, and the wave was just beginning to break over me as I crested it. It knocked a bit out of me and my brace, and then my roll, failed. I had a short swim back to shore. After a little more floundering on shore, I made it out.

On the way back, Roger, a little further ahead and closer to shore, got picked off.

On the return through Point Danger, I hesitated whilst looking behind at one wave and then failed to brace. All part of the learning process. And hopefully the swimming resulted in a few more calories burned...